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The xx (music group)
Kimbra cooks up virtual layer cake of sound
Kimbra cooks up virtual layer cake of sound

In a year in which many big-ticket records have stressed brevity and focus, there's something to be said for New Zealand pop iconoclast Kimbra's "The Golden Echo." Best known in America for her vocals on the smash "Somebody That I Used to Know," the magnetic multi-instrumentalist on her second solo album moves through a strange and often surprising set of tones and approaches. A virtual layer cake of futuristic funk pop, contemporary R&B and maximalist Top 40 music slathered with the purple icing of Prince, "The Golden Echo" swaps styles with gleeful — and at times reckless — abandon, an apt pop offering for this pattern-on-pattern...

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